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Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury lead worldwide prayer for coronavirus

by Heather Preston

Christians across the globe joined with the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury in prayer for the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday at the same time. 
Pope Francis invited believers worldwide to collectively pray the Lord's Prayer at 11am UK time (12 noon Rome), to ask for God's mercy, a call backed by Most Rev Justin Welby.
Speaking on Sunday, the Pope urged all Christians to respond to the coronavirus crisis "with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness," adding "Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried."
Welby backed the pontiff's call, encouraging Anglicans to share a video or photo on social media with the hashtag #PrayTogether.
Archbishop Justin said: "When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray he taught them the words that we know as the Lord's Prayer or the Our Father. This prayer gives us words to pray even when we don't know how or what to pray."

The prayer fell on the 25th anniversary of a landmark Vatican document reaffirming the inviolability of all human life from conception to natural death. Francis dedicated his comments to the document, which strongly reaffirmed church teaching opposing abortion and euthanasia.

Francis said it is imperative to "relaunch this teaching in the context of a pandemic that threatens human life and the global economy".

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